Charles Hurst marks Earth Day with £3.5m electric and hybrid vehicle investment

Charles Hurst Group, Northern Ireland’s biggest motoring retailer, has announced an investment of over £3.5 million in a company fleet of fully electric and hybrid vehicles for employees and an extensive charging infrastructure programme.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 6:00 am
Charles Hurst Group Operations Director, Jeff McCartney and Charles Hurst employees with their fully electric company cars

Charles Hurst Group, Northern Ireland’s biggest motoring retailer, has announced an investment of over £3.5 million in a company fleet of fully electric and hybrid vehicles for employees and an extensive charging infrastructure programme.

In a sustainability transformation of the business, the £3.5 million investment means that one in three of the company’s entire fleet of company car and demonstrator vehicles is now either fully electric or a hybrid model.

The overall package includes an investment of £200,000 in charging infrastructure across all eight of its customer sites, bringing the total number of charging points up to over 80.

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One of the province’s largest employers and investors, with 900 employees across its eight sites including Belfast, Newtownards, Newtownabbey, Lisburn, Portadown and Dundonald, the Top 100 company confirmed the investment to mark Earth Day (April 22), an annual day designed to encourage people across the world to take positive steps towards a more sustainable future.

The UK will become the first nation within the G7 to ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles, as the government plans to phase out the sale of new cars and vans run on traditional fuels by 2030.

The company’s Group Operations Director has said that the investment is a sign of the company’s determination to lead by example as new climate change legislation makes its way through the Northern Ireland Assembly, setting ambitious emission reduction targets for the economy.

Group Operations Director, Jeff McCartney said: “This £3.5 million investment in our electric and hybrid vehicle fleet and infrastructure, about a third of our overall company fleet, represents our commitment to achieving our collective vision for a greener, more sustainable economy here in Northern Ireland.”

Research published recently suggests that average “lifetime“ emissions from electric cars are up to 30% lower than petrol cars in the UK, but that figure will improve as the country shifts to cleaner energy sources.

Additionally, research from Charles Hurst shows that, based on a customer changing from a Nissan Qashqai to a fully electric Nissan Leaf, for example, there is an approximate cost saving of almost £100 per month with vehicle running costs and over £4,000 over the cost of ownership.

Highlighting the importance of helping to protect the environment as well as their loyal customers’ pockets, Jeff continued: “Our industry has an important leadership role to play, not only because of the ambitious and welcome targets that have been set out for the rollout of electric vehicles to replace diesel and petrol, but because we have an opportunity to lead by example in our own businesses as well.

“We know the evidence suggests that not only will electric vehicles be pivotal in meeting climate change targets, but there are also thousands of pounds in cost-savings that households can make over time.”

The newly purchased fleet includes a series of the most popular electric vehicle brands such as the Peugeot e2008 and Jaguar I-Pace.

However, the wider offering to Northern Ireland’s motorists includes 16 brands across the range now with an electric or hybrid offering, including 88 different electric or hybrid models and hundreds of derivatives for customers to choose from.

Charles Hurst Group is Northern Ireland’s largest car retailer.

A division of Lookers plc, one of the UK’s principal automotive retail and distribution groups.

Charles Hurst represents 22 automotive brands across eight sites, offering customers across Ireland the most comprehensive choice of new and used vehicles, parts and servicing.